String Cheese: I’ll never let go

. . . one can never give too many food treats during temperament training exercises . . . – Dr. Ian Dunbar . A few weeks ago I received a very nice message from someone who had heard my two podcasts on The Great Dog Adventure with Fern Camacho. (This one and that one) She related to myContinue reading “String Cheese: I’ll never let go”

Looking ridiculous doesn’t make us unconventional

The theme for this month’s Positive Pet Training Blog Hop is Unconventional Training. Even though I look strange squealing “cheesy” at my dog when strangers walk, run, ride, or roll past us, I don’t think my String Cheese Method is unconventional at all. Reward-based training, to me, is the most basic, obvious method of trainingContinue reading “Looking ridiculous doesn’t make us unconventional”

Comfort a frightened dog

Have you ever heard the ridiculousness that you’re not supposed to comfort a scared dog, because it will reinforce the fear? So not true. From 4PawsUniversity: Fear is an emotion. Emotions are involuntary responses.  Reinforcement refers to an increase in behavior. Behaviors are voluntary responses. Fear is something you feel. Behavior is something you do. FromContinue reading “Comfort a frightened dog”

Facing adversity with positive training and string cheese

Leo’s leash-reactivity has been so well controlled that I decided to increase the criteria with a more challenging walk. Just kidding. We accidentally encountered unexpected triggers because we went later than usual. We walk this route a couple of times a week, and it involves passing some sports stadiums. There are often games on theseContinue reading “Facing adversity with positive training and string cheese”

Does this dog have the best job ever?

Remember how you felt when you found out that someone actually gets paid to taste ice cream flavors? Or test video games? That’s how your dogs are going to feel when they find out that some dogs get paid to sniff poop! Meet Crush, a sewage sniffing dog from Environmental Canine Services. She and herContinue reading “Does this dog have the best job ever?”

The Accidental Recall

Thanks to Fern Camacho for having me back on his Great Dog Adventure podcast! He’s started having real-world case studies, and I was more than happy to brag about how well Leo is doing with my magic string cheese method. When I heard that the Positive Pet Training Blog Hop theme for this month is “Recall,”Continue reading “The Accidental Recall”

That stupid Pack Leader myth

The dog world is having the hardest time freeing itself from the pervasive myth of Dominance Theory. Not even positive trainers get it right all the time. The first reward-based training class I took began like this: The trainer explained that all our dogs’ problems began at home. “Does this sound familiar to anyone? Your dog free-feeds, meaning he eatsContinue reading “That stupid Pack Leader myth”

Last gasp of summer

Well, it’s that time of year when I have to start thinking of new places to walk the dogs. We’ve had a great summer taking them to dog parks and doing managed training walks around neigborhoods where I can anticipate triggers. Now that school is back in session, there are more people everywhere, making moreContinue reading “Last gasp of summer”

Why Rescue Dogs Need Positive Training

Sometimes I feel like a fraud joining the Positive Pet Training Blog Hop. You see, aside from the String Cheese Counter-Conditioning Protocol (which, don’t get me wrong, definitely counts as Positive Pet Training), I don’t train my dogs. I just burnt out after Isis. I’ve tried Rally O with Leo, and we have really nice agility equipmentContinue reading “Why Rescue Dogs Need Positive Training”